Produced by: Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Kent, Renton, Seattle, and Tacoma Washington, California, and Oregon.
5.5 injuries occur per 100 full-time warehouse and storage workers every year. – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Slip and fall injuries are too common
It is important to be mindful of your surroundings when you work in an industrial plant or warehouse. According to the 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, 1 in 4 accidents in the warehousing and storage industry occur when employees fall, trip, or slip.
A few common reasons workers may fall, slip, or trip in the workplace are:
- Accumulations of dust or powder on floor
- Uneven walking surfaces
- Electrical cords and hoses positioned across walkways
- Loose flooring, carpeting or mats
- Missing or uneven floor tiles and bricks
- Damaged or irregular steps with no handrails
- Shoes with wet, muddy, greasy or oily soles
- General clutter
- Open desk or file cabinet drawers
- Damaged ladder steps
- Ramps with no skid-resistant surfaces
3 Quick Tips to Avoid Slips and Falls in the Warehouse
- Establish good housekeeping habitsEmployees should be encouraged to keep their area clean and free of clutter. It may help to assign cleaning as a daily task for specific employees to ensure that cleaning becomes a daily routine.Keeping the plant clean and organized will not only prevent injury, but it will also help keep the work efficient.
- Organize your surroundings
Be mindful of any equipment that requires wires or hoses to be in a walkway, this equipment should be covered with protectors to prevent tripping.All walkways and docks over four feet should have railing. And be sure to keep all areas well lit – if it is difficult to see, then it is more likely for a worker not to see potential hazards in their way.
- Reduce slippery or wet surfaces outside of the floor
While cleaning the warehouse floor seems like a given, it is important to control other indoor and outdoor surfaces. For example, wet or rainy weather from outside can be tracked inside, therefore it is important to keep parking lots and sidewalks clean.Provide moisture-absorbent mats and display “Wet Floor” signs as needed. Don’t forget about kitchen areas, be sure to use proper area rugs or mats.
Stay vigilant when it comes to avoiding slip and fall injuries in the warehouse. Don’t hesitate to consult with an ergonomics expert to assess your warehouse to keep your employee’s workplace safe.
SolutionsNW.com provides work place and ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., an ergonomics assessment provider located in Seattle, Kent, Renton, Tacoma, Washington State, Northern California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.